McConnell says he and Trump are united on ‘shared goals’

Mitch McConnell, John Barrasso
FILE- In this Aug. 1, 2017, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., holds his first news conference since the Republican health care bill collapsed last week due to opposition within the GOP ranks, on Capitol Hill, in Washington. People want President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to try making the Obama health care law more effective, according to a national poll released Friday, Aug. 11, by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he and President Donald Trump are in regular contact about “shared goals” and working together to advance them. He says people suggesting otherwise are “clearly not part of the conversation.”

McConnell says priorities include tax overhaul, spending and other bills.

The Kentucky Republican released the statement Wednesday during a rocky period between the two leaders.

Trump has criticized McConnell for the Senate’s rejection of the GOP push to repeal President Barack Obama’s health law. He suggested McConnell might need to step aside as leader if he can’t push top bills through the chamber.

People familiar with McConnell’s thinking say he’s privately expressed dismay over Trump’s failure to clearly criticize Nazis after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and for the president’s criticism of fellow Republicans.